Wednesday, 3 July 2019 : Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast day of one of the Twelve Apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that is St. Thomas the Apostle, known also by his epithet ‘the Twin’ and as St. Thomas Didymus. St. Thomas was famous and well-remembered among the Apostles as the one who doubted the Lord on a few occasions, not believing in what the Lord has taught His disciples and also when He showed Himself to them after He has risen from the dead.

St. Thomas was someone who was a skeptic, sarcastically remarking openly before the disciples when He mentioned that He was going to Judea that all of them were going to die together with Him. He doubted the Lord’s resurrection when he was absent at the time when He appeared among His disciples, and wanted a concrete proof that He has risen from the dead, even to the point of challenging that unless he can put his fingers into the Lord’s wounds and witness them for himself, he would not believe.

In what we have heard in today’s readings, we heard of the lack of faith which St. Thomas once had, when he doubted in the Lord and refused to believe in Him. And we ought to link this with our own life experiences, in how we have lived our own faith thus far. St. Thomas was actually showing the same attitude that many of us have probably often taken throughout our lives, because we do not really believe in God.

Let us ask ourselves, brothers and sisters in Christ, how many times in our lives have we doubted that God is there for us or even feel angry at God because we think that He has not helped us or even thinking that He has abandoned us? How many times is it that we have doubted God’s presence just because we perceive that He is not around, or that we cannot feel His presence or because He does not seem to respond to our pleas and desires?

If we have done all of these, then we have to take note that it is this same attitude which St. Thomas the Apostle has also done. The Lord wants us all to know that He is in fact with us at all the time, and He will never abandon us because of the great love which He actually has for each and every one of us. If we do not get what we want, it was not because God is not there for us or that He does not listen to us, but everything in this world occurs and happens according to God’s will ultimately. We cannot have our own way all the time.

That is why it is very important that we have faith in us, this genuine and strong faith that the Apostles had shown in their own examples and lives. In the case of St. Thomas himself, despite his earlier doubts and lack of faith, having witnessed and I am sure he must have been quite embarrassed by the experience as mentioned in the Gospel today, when the Lord gently rebuked him for his lack of faith, he became a firm believer and a courageous witness for his faith in God.

St. Thomas went to a few places spreading the Good News, and eventually went to the region that is now the southern parts of India where he preached to the locals and converted quite a few among them, which became the progenitors of the Christian communities there, known colloquially as ‘St. Thomas Christians’ to show the great contributions that this Apostle has given for his love and faith for God.

He was eventually martyred for his courageous defence and witness for his faith, and we can see the tremendous change from such a doubter and someone who had a shaky faith, into a firm believer and faithful servant who served God unto his death in martyrdom. Such an example should be an inspiration for each and every one of us that we may grow in faith and love for God from now onwards.

May the Lord continue to guide us and bless us, that each and every one of us may always be blessed by the light of His presence, and be empowered and strengthened just as He has strengthened His Apostles. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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